Blackberry Lunch

Our wall of thorns has yielded an amazing crop of good native blackberries. There are two reliable ways to tell if the fruit is ready to be picked: the fragrance cloud of berry hovering over the hot street, and the gleeful comments from the pickers who routinely return day after day, picking and blabbing.
When I was writing for a real deadline, their banter and exclamations got on my nerves.

“GOD! These are GOOD !”
I’m not eating MINE. Lookit how many I already have!”

Our house is perched three feet or so from the street, and the street side is the hotter side of the fence. Hence: better fruit. Inside our yard the berries get only five hours of sun.

I got so bothered that I would run out after hurriedly

a) donning my prisoner’s uniform, a perfect berry assault jumpsuit

b) tying shoes, nothing like falling off a ladder because I stood on my own shoelace

c) gloving up, and putting on hat and sunglasses, grabbing bowl, ladder

It’s a lot of bothersome steps, but once I pushed the ladder into the berry bushes, the banter would cease and within minutes our intrepid marauders would wander guiltily away (when I pilf my found fruit, I ALWAYS leave a note first….because of my own experience with unexpected territoriality issues in myself…iI mean, I’m USUALLY agreeable…

well, maybe with food I’m a bit more like a dog guarding its bowl….

Today was a bit different.

I just wanted blackberries, suited up carefully (very uncharacteristic) and was surprised to see a quiet little boy picking from the hedge, his bike standing nearby (I nearly never see bikes held up with a kick-stand)…

“Everyone ELSE picks here ” he said sheepishly.

“Yep, and they are welcome to.” I said, again, not my usual self.

“Do you live on our street?”


Wow. Enterprise! In a Marin child!

Within ten minutes my plastic bowl was half full– enough for two days of fresh fruit with cream. Brew up some tea…rinse the car-fumed berries…blob on the cream…

Bon apetit!


2 thoughts on “Blackberry Lunch

  1. Last summer, when the blackberries started to ripen I’d just go outside in the morning and and plop them into my bowl on top of my Shredded Wheat. Yum! We don’t have any until late summer here, though.

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